Saturday, November 02, 2013

Review: Endvade - Ascension

Endvade have been invading the world of djent and core metal for a little over a year now, originally formed in August of 2012 the band recently issued their debut EP, Ascension, in October. The Montreal based band have little in terms of background to discuss, so lets just see how well this debut entry into an increasingly unwelcomed genre is.

Genre: Progressive Metal/Djent/Core
Label: Self-released/independent
Release Date: 2013
  1. Another Big One Shelley
  2. Religion
  3. How's The Rain
  4. Unconditional Love
Total Playtime: 20 minutes, 26 seconds

Official Website













Rating: 8.0/10







Endvade have been invading the world of djent and core metal for a little over a year now, originally formed in August of 2012 the band recently issued their debut EP, Ascension, in October. The Montreal based band have little in terms of background to discuss, so lets just see how well this debut entry into an increasingly unwelcomed genre is.

If you don't like djent metal, then stop reading right now and go find another review on the site. If, however, you are an open minded individual who doesn't exclude a release simply from being from a genre that you generally don't like, keep reading. I won't lie, this is an odd release to see from Montreal which is the death and thrash metal capital of Canada, and Silver Wing Studios surprised me with a physical copy (thank you!) when I woke up Thursday morning and checked my mail. To be honest, I kind of held off on this review because I haven't had any experience with the djent genre until Ascension, which I listened to when the digital download popped into my inbox initially. So, here's to hoping I will provide a sturdy review despite a lack of in depth knowledge unlike the other articles that are provided in these archives.

As opposed to the standard view of djent, this short but sweet EP includes a magnitude more than just "open bass notes" as many of the haters of the genre like to proclaim that it is. Ascension is packed to the bursting point with the incorporation of various styles; technical, death, core, progressive and industrial metal all make their appearances at some point within the twenty minutes of content. The compositions never come off crowded, in fact they're quite the opposite; there's an outstanding use of space presented in both production quality and song writing techniques. This is a very strong and important quality to have, especially when creating more technically inspired material so that the elements all stand out in the appropriate areas.


The rhythm guitar has a uniquely surreal tone to it, this quality reinforces the catchy melodies that it creates along all four tracks. This ingredient specifically incorporates the use of abrupt rests that never fail to catch the listener off guard and surprise them, which commands the audience to pay attention and never lose interest. While the rhythm guitar is going off on grooving outbursts the lead guitar is constantly dancing in the background with veteran solos, donning a more clean and lighter tone that shines against the deep crunch of the rhythm guitar. "Unconditional Love" is undoubtedly the track that shows off the guitars the most as it comes with the most advanced solos and identifiable riffs. To mix things up, a couple of tracks also include distant, withdrawn picking that fortifies a desolate end time atmosphere. The bass is never heard resting in one place for long, although it typically follows pace with the rhythm guitar. When the two main guitars clear the audio waves and allow for the bass to take over with solos, it is some of the best bass work that has been recorded in recent memory, especially in songs such as "Unconditional Love" and "How's the Rain".

The only real worrisome aspect of Ascension are the drums. They're pushed way too far back into the mix to make a real lasting impression on the audience and it takes dedicated listening to follow along with any beats that they provide other than hearing an occasional hi-hat crash. The ear of the listener becomes too focused on the content in the front of the mix, meaning either one of two things; the drums need to kick it up a notch in terms of technicality to match the other instruments, which also comes with the downside possibility of causing the content to become crowded, or they need to be mixed a tiny bit louder. When making the conscious effort to focus on the drums they come with fairly average beats and hooky patterns, but in the end they fall short when taking in everything else that is present. Lastly, there are a dual set of vocals that alternate lyrical exchanges; death metal and clean singing are both heard, either one at a time or as a duet. Both have a moderate and extremely entertaining range of octaves and scales that they ascend and descend, the audience may even find themselves wanting to sing or growl along with the vocalists to various parts of the album, especially "Another Big One Shelley" and "Religion".

The element that truly sets Ascension above any other album of its kind is the incorporation of industrial influence; this sets the material apart and gives it an outstanding advantage over other bands and releases. It would be hard to describe and name all of the techniques used, but think Buckethead meets Velvet Acid Christ. The rhythm guitar must have a kill switch on it as the track composure stops abruptly and starts again with lightning speed at many points. There are also a plethora of atmospheric synthetics that give the EP a good polish. Highly recommended, especially for those who may be doubting djent as a genre and for those that enjoy industrial metal or are in need of anything that would be an absolute one-of-a-kind listen.

Physical Copy Provided by: Silver Wings Studios

Reactions:

0 Shouts:

Post a Comment